For “Weekly Idol”, the stage welcomes popular pianist Yiruma.
Born Lee Ru Ma, Yiruma was educated in the UK, having moved there at the age of 11. He attended The Purcell School of Music and King’s College London which helped him gain popularity in Europe. Originally holding dual citizenship, Yiruma gave up his British citizenship before beginning his military service back in Korea in 2006 and returning to music two years later.
Since debuting as a musician, Yiruma has so far released ten studio albums, three compilation albums and one live album but has also contributed to film OSTs, as well as Kdrama opening themes e.g. Spring Waltz. His album “First Love” was released in 2001 alongside “Love Scene” and remains one of his most popular albums in this present time. Said album includes one of his well-known tracks “River Flows In You.”
In addition to his solo piano pieces, Yiruma is a regular guest pianist who collaborates with many Kpop idols. For instance he assisted Ailee on her single Higher and accompanied Hyolyn from SISTAR on her cover of Beyonce‘s Halo. As well as being a performer, Yiruma is a DJ on radio show HLKV-FM.
River Flows In You
Yiruma also performed this song as a duet with Super Junior ‘s Henry.
As a bonus, have a listen to his vocal performance of said song.
Kiss The Rain
I’ve heard this song being played while eating meals in small restaurants though never knew it was performed by Yiruma until I went onto Youtube.
Here are some more video clips where Yiruma collaborated with well known idols, providing his piano talent for their music.
SHINee‘s Selene 6.23
Baek Ji Young ‘s Hate / I Hate It
2AM‘s One Spring Day
Why I chose Yiruma for Weekly Idol
His music does not strictly dive into classical, especially the sweeping, theatrical kind, but it also doesn’t go towards “pop” music either. The fusion genre of his style makes me think of crossover artist and his music can easily reach different individuals who may not be as familiar with classical music. Studying and touring overseas for many years has helped him became a global icon and gives him the opportunity to gain new fans from all parts of the world.